As sporting events have taken a hit in light of the recent pandemic, the effect has been far-reaching. There have been disparities in the game that have risen to the surface. While men cricket is being planned for, there have been assumptions of women cricket suffering more.
Postponing of ICC qualifier and important bilaterals add to the mere speculation. However, an assuring update reaches to us from England. The England Cricket Board has confirmed regional retainers for women’s cricketers. The announcement translates into the inclusion of 24 domestic players into regional retainers starting from June 1.
The players will be recruited by eight regions as per an official announcement from the board. The due course of recruitment will see strength and conditioning programs. The players will also undertake certain online modules that shall contain anti-corruption and anti-doping education. Time shall also be given for “good for games” activities and appearances. Clare Connor who serves as the managing director of women’s cricket highlighted that the momentum in women’s cricket has been exciting and the board wishes to take the game and momentum forward.
There was also an affirmative addition regarding the post COVID world where the director believes that the game would emerge as a unifying, diverse and inclusive game on whom the whole Britain will take pride and further said this was due to be the most exciting year in the game’s history for our leading domestic players.
A number of them would have been hoping to sign a full-time contract with one of our eight Regions this summer. While we still intend to award those full-time contracts in 2020, we want to try to support our players as much as we can until that point, hence the introduction of these retainers to provide an interim solution.
There was an important commitment at the end where a more gender-balanced game was mentioned and the promise was mentioned to support the players as the game in the near future remains uncertain.
Those on full-time deals will earn £18,000 per year and will expire in October 2021, while retainers will be worth £1,000 per month prior to becoming full-time in the autumn.
The 8 regions are:
|Region||Regional Host + Partner Counties||Regional Director of Women’s Cricket|
|North East||Yorkshire CCC, Durham CCC, Northumberland||James Carr|
|North West||Lancashire CCC, Cheshire, Cumbria||David Thorley|
|West Midlands||West Midlands Women’s Cricket Ltd (NewCo – Warwickshire CCC & Worcestershire CCC), Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire||Laura MacLeod|
|East Midlands||Loughborough University, Derbyshire CCC, Leicestershire CCC, Nottinghamshire CCC, Lincolnshire,||Ian Read|
|South West and Wales||Western Storm Ltd (NewCo – Glamorgan CCC, Gloucestershire CCC and Somerset CCC), Cricket Wales, Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire||Lisa Pagett|
|South Central||Southern Vipers Ltd (Hampshire Cricket Ltd), Sussex CCC, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire||Adam Carty|
|London and South East||Surrey CCC, Kent CCC||Richard Bedbrook|
|London and East||Middlesex CCC, Essex CCC, Northamptonshire CCC Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk||Danni Warren|